In a Kirner-Johnson classroom, the Hamilton College Entrepreneur Club meets to discuss plans for the new semester. After an extremely productive year, the group is proud of its accomplishments. The club created a successful website, GetMyTextbooks.org, allowing students to sell used textbooks directly to one another. Club President Jason Mariasis ’12, a true entrepreneur, looks forward to what the group can accomplish next. “Some of us have business experience, some of us don’t,” Mariasis says. “Everyone is welcome.”
The Entrepreneur Club is centered on teamwork and collaboration, without which it would be unable to develop its stellar ideas. Mariasis started the club to bring students and professors together as well as to teach members about business and finance. Companies are usually a hierarchy, with a president or CEO wielding most of the power, but the Entrepreneur Club shies away from typical design. “Structure isn’t very important; we’re one big team,” says Mariasis; everyone’s ideas and input are deemed essential, and everyone has equal responsibility. Informal meetings encourage discussion to promote innovation and creativity. All members focus on an idea and try to make it a reality.
Mariasis exudes the passion he has for entrepreneurship. He discusses the tireless work that went into creating GetMyTextbooks.org and its website. He stresses the importance of distinctive products. “What differentiates us?” he asks. ”If we can’t answer this question, then we don’t have a successful product.”
And after all, a small, but talented group of individuals — with a very capable leader — has already shown where one differentiation of an idea can lead.